Collecting samples of molten lava from an active volcano is an extreme endeavor, though the star of this video makes it look easy.
This footage was shot while geologists collected lava from Kīlauea, an active volcano located in the Hawaiian islands.
Molten lava, at surface temperature, can reach a blistering 1200 degrees Celsius (2200 degrees Fahrenheit). That is hot enough that, should any unsuspecting person accidentally stumble into this section of liquefied rock, they would immediately burst into flames.
The geologist, dressed head to foot in heat resistant protective clothing, uses a rock hammer to quickly collect and than cool the lava in a bucket of water.
He is careful to approach his intended sampling area from upwind. Approaching the heat head-on could overwhelm our researcher despite his protective wear.
When the lava hits the water it immediately boils the water and turns into a dark sooty glass.
One reason geologists collect lava is to build a database of information. Lava collected from this volcano during this specific time period will have a different makeup than lava collected from the same volcano a decade later.
This information tells geologists important information about what is happening below the earth’s surface.
Volcanoes, due to their destructive potential, are monitored closely around the globe. The information we receive from this important work could give nearby communities the time needed to avoid catastrophe.
Source: ©Facebook Video Screenshot | USGS Volcanoes